Simple Roast Chicken

Roasting a whole chicken is a great way to ensure that all the meat is juicy and it can make meal planning for multiple meals super easy. I always have leftovers that make for another quick meal. Heat up the leftover meat with some salsa and you have the quick beginnings of tacos. Add the leftovers to a pan of quickly cooked veggies with some sauce and you have a stir fry. Make a simple soup with vegetables and rice and add the chicken in at the very end or chop it up and throw on a salad for lunches.

I have a lot of clients who live in families of one or two people. They often complain that cooking a whole chicken is too much food and they get tired of eating it before it is all gone. Check out this tiny 2-pound chicken. I ordered this one from grocery delivery service in the Bay Area. Talk to the butcher you may be able to order a right-sized chicken for your family if they don’t have one in stock.


Whole chicken (I like to use organic or pasture-raised if I can find it)

1 fresh lemon cut in half

1-2 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed

2-4 sprigs of fresh herbs (I like to use rosemary, mint, Italian parsley)

Olive oil

Salt and pepper



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Rinse the chicken.

Put the chicken in a roasting pan, sometimes I line my pan with parchment paper for easy cleanup. Add the herbs, ½ of the lemon, and garlic to the cavity of the chicken.

Season the top of the chicken with a squeeze of lemon, a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch or two of salt and pepper.

Cook until a meat thermometer registers 180 degrees on the inside of the thigh. Cook times will vary depending on the size of the chicken. I know it is time to start checking the temperature when the skin on the legs starts to pull away. Let the chicken sit for 10-15 minutes before carving.